The alarm goes off, and I reverse my pattern. I get up fifteen minutes early, and go outside first. My thoughts are not about the daily “to do” list but instead focused on the nearby tree or the birds.
Lessons from the Ordinary
Yesterday, I was a guest blogger on my good friend Michael Hyatt’s leadership blog. In Lessons from the Ordinary, I shared observations of everyday, ordinary people and lessons we can learn from them. By being alert and slowing down, we are able to see beyond the obvious. You can read the full post here.
This was my very first guest post on another blog. Since I’ve previously written about the benefits of guest posting, I thought I would give it a try. My own policy of accepting guest posts will be modified in coming days since managing the process is more involved than I previously realized.
Some of the lessons from the post:
People teach us remarkable lessons if we are open to learning.
At first blush, you may think a servant leader literally takes on the role of a servant. Taken to an extreme, that definition would look like this:
As you pull into work, the leader meets you at your car, opens your door, and welcomes you to the office. Maybe the leader gets you coffee mid-morning and drops by in the afternoon to see if you need anything. When you need assistance on a project, or maybe just someone to do the grunt work, there your leader is, waiting for you.
The replication factor is so important. It means teaching others to lead, providing opportunities for growth and demonstrating by example. That means the leader is not always leading, but instead giving up power and deputizing others to lead.
“Servant leaders give up power and deputize others to lead.” -Skip Prichard
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4. Helps people with life issues (not just work issues).
It’s important to offer opportunities for personal development beyond the job. Let’s say you run a company program to lose weight, or lower personal debt, or a class on etiquette. None of these may help an immediate corporate need, but each may be important.
Erika Andersen is a Forbes blogger, a facilitator, consultant, coach, and the founding partner of Proteus International. She’s also the author of three books: Leading So People Will Follow, Being Strategic, and Growing Great Employees. I follow Erika on Twitter and regularly read and share her blog posts. In all of her writing, she offers advice gleaned from her thirty years of working with executives.
I thoroughly enjoyed her most recent book, Leading So People Will Follow and wanted to share this great resource with you.
Erika, this is your third book and really they are related. For people who aren’t familiar with your work, tell us about each of the books.
Thanks for asking! The three books each have a strong connection to one of our three practice areas at Proteus, the business I founded in 1990. The first book, Growing Great Employees, is a kind of Boy Scout Handbook for people managers. It’s a very skill-based, practical approach to the whole realm of managing and developing employees: why it’s important and how to do it well. That book is most connected to the management and leadership training part of our client offer, which we call Building Skills and Knowledge.
The second book, Being Strategic, is most closely connected to our Clarifying Vision and Strategy practice area, where we focus on helping organizations clarify the future they want to create – and then achieve their vision. That book teaches our model and the associated mental skills for thinking and acting more strategically – in any part of your life.
This new book, Leading So People Will Follow, is connected to our Developing Leaders practice area, where we focus on coaching individual leaders and teams of leaders to get ready and stay ready to succeed into the future.
In your latest book, stories and folklore play a big part. I love that because children’s books are filled with powerful leadership lessons. Why did you choose to use fairy tales and stories to get your points across?
My friend Robert Goolrick is one of the most remarkable people I’ve met. He’s a first class novelist, writing two New York Times bestselling books: A Reliable Wife and Heading Out to Wonderful. These are stories that will linger with you long after you finish them. He writes the kind of novels you have to tell someone else about. He also wrote the bestselling, non-fiction book The End of the World as We Know It about his unbelievably difficult life.
A Perfect Life?
Look at his life now, and you’d think it was made-for-movie perfect. His books sell millions of copies. He lives a gentleman’s life in Virginia. He travels to exotic destinations. On his wrist, you are bound to see a timepiece to remember.
You may see the external life of dreams, but dig a little more and learn his story.
As an adult….
He was fired from his job as an advertising executive.
His manuscripts were rejected by publisher after publisher.
He was addicted to drugs and drinking.
He cut himself.
He literally lost a decade of his life in a world you wouldn’t recognize.
He was institutionalized.
As a child….
He was verbally abused.
He lived in squalor (complete with rats!).
He was raped. By his father.
He was neglected.
Most of us don’t understand that kind of life, that kind of pain. But all of us have obstacles thrown in our path.